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Best Overall Diets 2024 Report

1 month, 1 week ago

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Posted on Jun 04, 2024, 12 p.m.

Recently the U.S. News & World Report partnered with The Harris Poll and released its “Best Diets Overall 2024” report. A panel of 43 leading medical and nutrition experts specializing in diabetes, weight loss, and heart health reviewed each of the 30 diets included in this year’s report and rated them for health risks and benefits, nutritional completeness, evidence-based effectiveness, and for promoting a long-term healthy, sustainable lifestyle. 

“Choosing a diet can be tough. Each person has unique health considerations and goals, and there are many diets out there to choose from — and it’s hard to know which ones will actually work best for you,” said Gretel Schueller, managing editor of health at U.S. News. “That’s why U.S. News does the legwork for its users, gathering input from nationally recognized medical and nutrition experts to determine which diets rise to the top for nutritional completeness, ease of following, and promoting a healthy lifestyle for the long term.”

The Top 10 Best Overall Diets:

For the seventh consecutive year, it should come as no surprise that the Mediterranean Diet did very well in this report. With an overall score of 85.1% it once again is ranked first in Best Diets Overall due to its focus on diet quality rather than a single nutrient or food groups and recommendation for daily varied consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, herbs, and spices. Years of research back this filling, family-friendly, budget-smart, low-fat simple but effective planet-friendly approach. This diet also claimed the top spot in Best Diets for Diabetes, Best Heart-Healthy Diets, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health, Best Family-Friendly Diets, Best Diets for Healthy Eating, and ranked #2 for Best Plant-Based Diet. 

The DASH Diet claims the #2 spot for Best Diet Overall this year with an overall score of 75.4%. Developed as an approach to stop hypertension, this flexible, balanced, and heart-healthy meal plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Praised for nutritional completeness, this filling, clearly defined, planet-friendly, family-friendly, budget-smart, low-fat diet provides strict recommendations on actual amounts and limits for the types of foods consumed. This diet also comes in at #2 in Best Heart-Healthy Diets, #2 in Best Diabetes Diets, #2 in Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health, #3 in Best Family, Friendly Diets, #3 in Best Diets for Healthy Eating, #3 in Easiest Diets to Follow, and 5th in Best Weight-Loss Diets.

The MIND Diet came in third for Best Diet Overall with an overall score of 60.7%. This brain-friendly diet focuses on food that can specifically help to improve brain health to potentially lower the risk of mental decline. This low-carb, planet-friendly, family-friendly, and budget-smart diet encourages eating less bad fats, processed foods, and sugars that can increase inflammation, oxidative stress, and amyloid beta deposits. This diet also placed #4 in Best Family-Friendly Diets, #4 in Best Diets for Healthy Eating, #4 in Best Diabetes Diets, #5 in Best Heart-Healthy Diets, #5 in Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health, and #6 in Easiest Diets to Follow.

The Mayo Clinic Diet ranked fourth in Best Diet Overall with an overall score of 72%. Using evidence-based behavioral science, this diet is a 12-week program designed to establish healthy habits for life. This family-friendly, budget-smart, low-carb, low-fat, diet helps you to recalibrate your eating habits by breaking bad ones and replacing them with good ones and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This diet also ranked #2 in Best Diet Programs, #4 in Best Weight-Loss Diets, and #6 in Best Diets for Healthy Eating.

The Flexitarian Diet ranked #5 in Best Diets Overall this year with a score of 53.6%. This convenient, nutritionally sound, semi-vegetarian diet shows that you don’t have to eliminate meat to get the health benefits that are associated with being a vegetarian. While the focus is still on eating more herbs, spices, and plant-based foods you can be more flexible about eating meat, preferably moderately while avoiding saturated fats and processed foods. This low-fat, planet-friendly, family-friendly, budget-smart diet is more about adding food groups to your diet rather than eliminating them completely. This diverse and filling diet also ranked #1 in Best Plant-Based Diets, #2 in Best Diets for Healthy Eating, #2 in Easiest Diets to Follow, #3 in Best Diabetes Diets, #3 in Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health, #6 in Best Weight-Loss Diets, and #6 in Best Heart-Friendly Diets. 

The Weight Watchers Diet ranked #6 in Best Diets Overall with a score of 46.1%. Focusing on lasting weight loss through behavior change, nutrition science, and social support, this plan helps members develop sustainable habits, eat healthier, and move more by changing their relationship to food using a points system and app. You probably won’t go hungry on this nutritionally sound, low-carb, low-fat, filling, and diverse clearly defined plan. This diet also ranked #1 in Best Diet Programs, #1 in Best Weight-Loss Diets, #5 in Easiest Diets to Follow, #5 in Best Diabetes Diets, and #6 in Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets.

The Volumetric Diet ranked #7 in Best Diets Overall with a score of 41.4%. This diet emphasizes eating nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. This nutritionally sound, diverse, family-friendly, budget-smart, planet-friendly, low-carb, low-fat diet emphasizes thinking positively about what you can eat and managing portions to meet your calorie goals. This diet also ranked #3 in Best Weight-Loss Diets, #4 in Easiest Diets to Follow, #5 in Best Diets for Healthy Eating, and #5 in Best Family-Friendly Diets.

Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet ranked #8 in Best Diets Overall with a score of 41.1%. This anti-inflammatory diet is an eating pattern geared toward reducing chronic inflammation and related illnesses. The program guidelines call for a variety of fresh foods, with a heavy emphasis on fruits and vegetables, rich sources of phytonutrients, and natural chemical compounds found in plants. This filling, family-friendly, planet-friendly, diet is nutritionally sound with clearly defined guidelines and coaching support. This diet also ranked #4 in Best Diets for Bone and Joint Health, #4 in Best Diet Program, and #8 in Best Family-Friendly Diets. 

The TLC Diet ranked #9 in Best Diets Overall with a score of 39.9%. The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet calls for eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, bread, cereals, and lean meats. The guidelines are broad enough that you’ll have a lot of latitude with what you eat. This nutritionally sound, diverse, filling, family-friendly, budget-smart, planet-friendly, low-fat diet recommends eating regularly, practicing portion control, and eating more vegetables to make you feel full. This diet also ranked #6 in Best Family-Friendly Diets, #7 in Best Heart-Healthy Diets, and #8 in Easiest Diets to Follow.

The Vegan Diet ranked #10 in Best Diets Overall with a score of 17.9%. The vegan diet requires eliminating all animal products from your diet. It's a healthy option for many reasons, as long as you're purposeful about getting certain nutrients that can be more challenging to get from plants, such as calcium and B-12. This diet is focused on eating only plant-based foods: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, seeds, and nuts. This restrictive diet can be filling and offers a diverse range of plant-based foods. This diet also ranked #3 in Best Plant-Based Diets, #4 in Best Heart-Friendly Diets, and #5 in Best Diabetes Diets. 

Wrapping It Up

Top tips on the best food to eat while on a diet include rice cakes, popcorn, celery sticks, raw broccoli, and high-fiber crackers because they are low in calories but will fill up your stomach. Keep in mind that while these foods may do a great job of physically filling up your stomach, there is no guarantee that you will eat less because fullness is not the same as satisfaction. 

Decades of research highlight that there is no magic pill or shortcut when it comes to weight loss, and there is no single approach that will work the same or for everyone. When it comes to a diet you must take into account your personality and lifestyle, because no matter how good the diet looks or how good it might make you look, if you can’t sustain it for the long haul you will end up right back to where you started, and that probably includes gaining a few extra pounds. 

Weight loss does require some effort, which means that you must include physical activity/exercise along with making more healthful dietary choices. As part of a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise work together to help promote optimal health.

Physical activity is much like a diet, in that you are more likely to stick with something that you enjoy. Try not to be too restrictive in your dietary choices, that is where most people make mistakes. Denying yourself of everything only sets you up for failure. The key is to enjoy those little indulgences in moderation while watching portion sizes.

During your journey for improved health, you may hit a few bumps along the way. Try to keep in mind that these are only temporary, and they present an opportunity to learn before continuing on your path. Setbacks do not mean failure, never give up, learn, adjust, and carry on because you are worth all of the benefits that you will gain. If at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again.

You got this. Move more. Eat healthy. Be well.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

This article was written by T.W. at WHN

https://health.usnews.com/best-diet

https://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-diets-overall

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